NFPS (New Filipino Private School) Patriots U14 and U16 teams advanced to the quarter-final round after topping their respective age groups in Week 5 of the NSL Basketball U14 at the Victoria International School of Sharjah on Saturday.
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Both teams also kept their records spotless. NFPS U14 team dominated ENS (Emirates National School) 35-24 to post their fifth win in as many games while NFPS U16 overwhelmed DPS (Delhi Private School) Sharjah 35-22 for their fourth consecutive victory.
Despite the loss, ENS U14 also advanced to the quarterfinal round after finishing in second place with a 4-1 (win-loss record) while DPS Sharjah U16 were eliminated.
Shooting guard Brandon Chan, who was adjudged best player, led NFPS Patriots U14 with 18 points, including three triples, and four steals while point guard Zander Camacho and Paul Ariola added six and five markers respectively.
Chan was also a vital cog in NFPS U14’s pick and roll play together with Camacho and centre Maui Martos. Camacho carried the ball while either Chan or Martos provided the pick and rolled for a jumper or made a strong drive to the basket.
The game was tied at 13-all at the half but NFPS pulled away in the third quarter behind Chan’s back to back triples to give this team a commanding 10-point lead, 25-15, going into the final period.
NFPS continued their strong performance in the fourth quarter and a buzzer-beating triple by Camacho gave them an 11-point winning margin, 35-24.
ENS coach Jose Mathai told Sport3600: “We played well but they (NFPS) won the match because they are the more experienced team. However, we’re happy because we still advanced to next round.”
NFPS coach Aris Peralta vowed his team will exert extra effort in the quarter-finals. “The tournament is getting tougher and we will be facing other winning teams but we will always give our best in every game.”
Meanwhile, Peralta’s NFPS U16 side had to rely on their trapping defence to compensate for their height disadvantage against DPS Sharjah.
DPS Sharjah dominated the first half and even led by as much as 13 points, 21-8, at the start of the second quarter but momentum shifted to NFPS after they implemented a full court press and the deficit was reduced to two, 21-19, at the half.
NFPS’ debilitating defence rattled DPS to score just a single-point in the entire second half while the trio of MVP Jeff Bustos, Peter Ebora and Philip Sanchez converted their steals into fastbreak points in transition.
Elsewhere, hosts VISS U14 team failed to advance to the next round but ended their campaign on a winning note after escaping NIMS Rising Stars 41-36 in double overtime. Yaseen Patel was adjudged MVP of the game after posting 19 points, grabbing five rebounds and making four steals.
VISS U16 team lost to NIMS Rising Stars 36-35 but will still go through the knockout stage due to a higher scoring quotient. VISS, NIMS Rising Stars and DPS Sharjah all finished with a 2-2 (win-loss card).
Scorers – U14
NFPS Patriots 35 – Brandon Chan 18; Zander Camacho 6; Paul Ariola 5; Maui Martos 4; Caleb Mathew Asi 2
ENS Sharjah 24 – Mathew Manoj 12; Jeffery Joseph 6; Arjash Mohd 3; Roshan Thomas 3
Scorers – U16
NFPS Patriots 35 – Jeff Bustos 15; Peter Ebora 8; Philip Sanchez 6; Jacob Flestado 4; Darren Ranon 2
DPS Sharjah 19 – Girik Sanjay 12; Pratik Abel Thomas 5; Jaison Johny 5
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